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Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. has entered into an affiliation with the Abdulaziz Al-Assaf law firm in Riyadh, which will enhance the firm’s ability to serve clients with business interests in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Longtime Squire Sanders partner Dale E. Stephenson (right) has relocated from the US to Riyadh, where he will help coordinate the firm’s increased activity in the Middle East.

Squire Sanders also has an affiliation with Kuwait City-based M.M. Al-Ghazali. Both the Al-Assaf and Al-Ghazali law firms have worked with Squire Sanders on matters in post-conflict Iraq. Stephenson and Brussels partner Thomas J. Ramsey were in Iraq in June, where they met with several prominent Iraqi lawyers to establish working relationships that will support post-conflict work in Iraq.

“I am excited about this opportunity, which combines Squire Sanders’ international expertise with the regional capabilities of a respected law office in Saudi Arabia at a time of significant and rapid economic growth in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East,” Stephenson said. “Al-Assaf knows the business leaders as well as the business and regulatory processes here. Squire Sanders brings diverse experience and skilled resources from around the globe. We believe this combination will benefit our clients’ business objectives in the Middle East.”

Stephenson said he will draw on experience he gained while working in the United Arab Emirates in the 1990s, where he handled a variety of complex legal issues. In 1996, Stephenson opened Squire Sanders’ office in Houston and will use that experience to integrate the new operations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

He noted that Squire Sanders lawyers have worked in the Middle East for more than 20 years, handling a wide range of matters in countries such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE and Yemen. The firm has extensive experience assisting governments in large-scale infrastructure projects, public-private partnerships, marketing liberalization and the privatization of state-owned industries.

Stephenson and Abdulaziz Al-Assaf said the firm’s familiarity with the region will be a valuable asset in Saudi Arabia.

“Much of the public sector now seeks opportunities to combine with outside investors,” said Abdulaziz Al-Assaf. “Working together with Squire Sanders, we can provide a unique team to assist with the successful implementation of such projects within Saudi Arabia.”

Established in 1990, the Al-Assaf firm provides a wide range of legal consultancy and litigation services through a professional team of legal, Sharia’a (Islamic law) and other consultants. A Saudi native, Al-Assaf is licensed to practice law in Saudi Arabia and is a member of numerous Arab and international professional organizations. He has also worked extensively with governmental authorities, including the ministries of Finance, Interior, Commerce and Industry, as well as the Saudi Investment Authority. He has participated in the shaping of several Saudi laws. Al-Assaf regularly assists private sector clients in the interpretation of and compliance with Saudi regulatory law.

Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P., founded in 1890, is one of the largest international law firms with more than 750 attorneys who represent the interests of clients throughout the world. The firm’s offices in the Americas include Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa, Tysons Corner, Washington DC and Rio de Janeiro. In Europe, offices are in Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, London, Madrid, Milan, Moscow and Prague. In Asia, offices are in Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo. The firm also has an association with legal firms in Bucharest, Dublin and Kyiv.

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